On Tuesday, I stopped at a local grocery store and got some lunch before my afternoon client. The bill was 6.00 CHF, so I pulled out a 10 CHF note and then told the cashier, “Hold on, I think I have 1.00 CHF” – this in order to get a single 5 CHF coin as change. It’s a habit.

However, seconds later when I *got* the 5 CHF coin, I remembered there was recently an article in one of the daily newspapers about the fake 5 CHF coins in circulation. I thought to myself, but didn’t voice out loud, “Gee, I hope it’s not one of the fakes.”

Counterfeit (left) and real (right) 5 CHF coins.

Left one (1995) is counterfeit. Right one (1968) is real.

Today, I went to the Post Office to buy stamps for a US-bound post card. 1.60 CHF. So, I perused my coin pocket and found…..a 5 CHF coin. Placed it on the counter, slid it forward and waited for my change.

“I’m sorry, sir, but this is a fake 5 CHF coin. I’ll need to confiscate it and fill in a form and take your personal information from your ID.”

Apparently they weigh the same as the real ones, but the color is a bit different.

Probably best to avoid them for the near future, unless of course it’s coming from the Post Office or Bank.

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